Monday, December 1, 2008

4 Days 3 Nights Getaway to Malacca and Kuala Lumpur

Last Tuesday, we hopped onto our family car and drove up to Malaysia together with our brother-in-law's family. It marked the first time that the extended Lim family was going on a road-trip across the Causeway.

It was a very leisure and relaxing drive up north, together with three young kids - two school-going of the same age - P and E, and one preschooler - R. They were too happy to enjoy each other companion. We took many breaks in between the drive to take in the slower pace of living and at the same time, enjoy the scrumptious hawker food that Malaysia has so much to offer.

Day 1 and 2 - Interlude in Malacca

We reached Malacca and checked into our hotel, Holiday Inn at around 2 pm. We had a kid suite which was a very luxurious room with an attached kid's room - complete with a queen-size bed and a double bunk bed for the kids. Besides splendid rooms, there was also splendour view from the full-height glass panel of our hotel rooms. Pictured an old Malay-style building in the centre that came with an open-surfaced carpark with cars parked haphazardly. To the left of the building were some four-storey white-painted shophouses. To the right, there was a seven-storey shopping mall and going further from the epicentre where the Malay-style building stood, we had uncompleted buildings still under construction. what a sight of the old juxtaposed against the new and the up-and-coming buildings.

After lunching at the nearby shopping mall, we spent the afternoon lazing in the hotel rooms while the kids watched television and played pretend with the double deck bunk bed. At around 4 pm, we went to the infinity pool and wading pool. It was awesome. When we stepped out of the lift and proceeded into the pool area, we were visually treated to a continous view of water flowing from the infinity pool all the way to the Straits of Malacca. The only giveaway was the color of the water - crystal blue at the infinity pool and jade green for the sea water of the Straits of Malacca.

Day 2 started with a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel before we proceeded to explore this Unesco World Heritage City by foot. Malacca was very rich in heritage founded by a fleeing prince from Sumatra in 14th century. Strategically located at the Straits of Malacca, it later developed into a major trading port for ships from India and China. As it flourished, it became a target for foreign powers eagered to gain control of the trading port. The Portuguese conquered it in 1511. In 1641, the Dutch took over before the British empire came in to rule Malacca later. The state finally obtained independence in 1957. Today, one will find many remnants of the glorious past dated back more than 500 years ago.

The kids raced to see who would reach the top of St. Paul's Hill first. At the top stood St. Paul's Church - once the prayer house of the Portuguese Catholics, but was later converted into burial ground for their noble dead by the Dutch. We also passed by the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum - which was converted from The Stadthuys - the official residence of the Dutch Governor. Another fine Dutch architecture was the nearby Christ Church built in 1753.

Besides fine sights, there were also fine food. We tried the baba chendol and chicken rice with chicken rice balls. The former was different from what we had in Singapore as they used "gula" or brown sugar gravy as the syrup. The latter looked like fishball but tasted like well, chicken rice.

After lunch, we bid goodbye to this historical tour and continued our journey up north to Kuala Lumpur.

Day 3 and 4 Swimming and Shopping Fun at Sunway Lagoon

After a good night sleep at hotel, we went to Sunway Lagoon Water Theme Park. It was quite similar to Downtown East in Singapore but bigger, very much bigger. We first played the water park - with flume rides and more exhilarating water ride where we slid down from a high and formed a "U" before "yo-yoing" to a halt. There were also wave pool with waves all the time, water playground and many, many more. Besides wet park, there was also "dry" park - the amusement park with a gamut of rides ranging from the classical merry-go-round to the "Wild Wild Wet"-inspired fast-train roller-coaster ride. The kids were zonked out by the end of the day.

Day 4 was the day for the adults - yes, shopping galore. In close proximity to the Sunway Lagoon was a mega shopping mall. There was a wide range of items to shop for and at very attractive prices too. After the hearty shopping, we drove back from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. It was a very memorable experience and was also very easy-on-the-pocket. You bet we would be back for more especially in these times of belt-tightening.

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